Thursday, December 24, 2015

so many good things

oh friends,
my heart is so full.
this season has been so busy but so good.
i don't even know where to begin, so i think i'll do a little list.

  • this has probably been one of the busiest holidays i have ever had. there were a lot of extras this month... puppy sitting, a very special 60th birthday that i helped with a bit, our first season of basketball (for two players on different teams... with different practice schedules.... sigh), hunting season also came before christmas this year (we do all of our own cutting and packaging... so there was that), and i have been subbing for the montessori a bit here and there as well. not to mention all of the usual holiday gatherings and just general chaos.
  • i have been enjoying it all so much though. i certainly do get overwhelmed, but i think i have been able to let go more this season than ever before, and that feels really good. i don't think i did ANY holiday crafting... which i do really miss of course, but this was just not the right season to add in another thing! also, i'm finding a lot of comfort in the fact that next year will not be so busy.
  • our weather... has been very wet and a bit wild. it seems like every time i check the weather there is a new storm moving in. as of dec. 21st we supposedly had a third of the total rainfall for 2015 in one month, one partial month. our average is around an inch a day. there has also been a lot of wind, as in sustained winds at 35 to 40 mph and gusts to 60 or 70 mph. saturated soils and high winds are a pretty scary combination. i am so curious if we will see snow this season.
  • our tree. when we went tree hunting in the previous post we didn't find anything. maiko went on his own while the girls and i were away and cut us down a beautiful tree. the tree was a spruce though, so we ran into some problems when we went to put it up. it was so prickly we could barely touch it and had to use work gloves to put it up, put on the lights, and even to put on the ornaments. it was quite an experience. then the poor tree collapsed under the weight of our decorations and we finally gave up on the poor thing (i was determined to make it work) and actually purchased a tree (the weather mentioned above has made tree hunting a little rough). 
  • there has been a little crafting. one of my favorite parts of the kids' crafting this year is that it has been entirely their own creation. i usually provide ideas and materials, or something in the way of guidance, but this year they have done it all on their own. i did provide them with the printouts for the sweet little houses though... which can be downloaded for free on taproot's website here. i printed them on cardstock for a little extra stability and it has worked wonderfully. 
well, i'm certainly missing some details but that was the gist of our month. i am really looking forward to starting 2016 with some calm and quiet.
cheers friends!
hope you all have a wonderful holiday surrounded by those you love.

Friday, December 4, 2015

tree hunting

  i wanted to share this little moment from yesterday... i think it speaks for itself.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

finding the balance

i have had a change of heart. i will not be selling my stamps at this time. a few ridiculously busy weeks showed me that my time is a very unpredictable thing this year, and with a few other big commitments on the horizon... i realize that any spare time i have this year i need to just spend creating and not worry about a profit. i teetered back and forth with this new decision, mostly because i wanted to follow through with what i said i was going to do. i began to realize about a week ago that this new endeavor was creating quite a weight on my shoulders that i could easy remove... so there you have it... weight lifted. i am very sorry if i have disappointed anyone... if you really want a set feel free to tell me so in a comment with a contact email and we can work something out. i am still doing trades... i am actually involved in a couple of those right now.

after some focused work last weekend, i finally finished preserving the last of the apples. all we have left now is this one little box for eating (and it's about half that now). i am also trying to deal with some of those pumpkins lining the front porch. i have been steaming, baking, and boiling, then turning them into puree. i really need some new recipes though. we are not the biggest pumpkin fans around here. 

then there's christmas...
which has been constantly creeping in ever since the calendar page turned to november, and i must admit... i love it. they have been humming carols, creating decorations, and even planning gifts. it is such a shining light in these dark days to focus on something that can be centered around love, light, and giving. not that it's been all love and light around here... there has been that same old negative energy building as well. i feel it every year at this time. i believe it is a combination of the dark, cold, and even the excitement of christmas creates a sort of excited anxiety in my children (in all of us). 
i usually just try to keep things simple and keep the focus on giving.
here we are... yet another holiday season in full swing.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

random bits of now

i always have a notebook.
a place to jot down thoughts, lists, ideas... anything and everything.
recently i found these lovely blank brown notebooks, "perfect for stamping," i thought.
and they are.
i stamped out that whole scene (minus the moon) with pieces i already had and i really thought a quote would be best in that corner. i searched and searched and could not find the right words... then one morning it hit me... i needed a big full moon in that corner.
i got right to it. i carved the piece on the bottom first and i was very dissatisfied with it. it was not at all what i expected. i almost just said "oh well" and used it anyway, but luckily i decided to try one more time. a more organic looking version, and it was exactly what i wanted. 

i love my new moon. i am so glad i gave it another try.

i have had very little time lately to work on the leaf stamp sets, but i feel that is about to turn around.

this was a set i timed myself making and used that time and the calculation of my cost to come up with my price for these sets... if i ever get them finished. i made some mistakes on this set and i think i will put these ones out for my children to use with their fall crafting.

i found some perfect little boxes for the sets. which feels a bit like finding the last piece to a puzzle, because safe shipping was always a bit of an issue.

she asked me what i was doing.
"i am trying to catch that golden light over there."

"i will help you," she said.

with all of the wet weather we have been having, our little furry friend has been coming inside for his exercise. i feel we have finally found the perfect arrangements. when we kept him gated up in the laundry room... it was kind of a nuisance when i actually needed to do some laundry... which is most of the time. lately we have been setting him up in the spare bathroom, and that is working wonderfully. i feel it will be an excellent situation for the colder weather too. i was worried that by bringing him in and out constantly throughout the winter we would mess with his natural senses and his winter coat. i figured either 1. he would be too hot or 2. his coat would thin and he would be cold at night. problem solved, our spare bath is actually the coldest room in the house. we have wood heat, and this room is positioned perfectly in a spot that the heat just doesn't reach very easily. we have had absolutely no problems. he hasn't caused any damage. he uses his litter box perfectly. he gets a little quiet time back there too, but it is quite easy for the kids to go visit him. 

our little system goes like this:
sometime in the afternoon i get bunny, give him some snuggles, and put him in the bathroom with the gate up. then i give him fresh pellets and water, and his litter box with fresh hay (every couple days i change his litter box), i also give him his little pink fleece blanket that he loves. 
then he stays like that with visitors on and off until after everyone is ready for bed. then layla and i move him back out. she puts him back in the hutch, gives him his litter box with fresh hay, she fills his pellets and water, and while she does this i give the bathroom a quick sweep (he gets a bit of hay on the floor). it is all working wonderfully and i think he is quite happy with us.

all of that juice we pressed?
i spent a week pasteurizing and bottling it.
and this week i am making applesauce and canning it.
it feels really good knowing that this is the last bit of harvest work. i put away all of the bottling equipment a couple days ago, and in another couple of days i will put away the canning equipment.

i'm really feeling a change in the weather now. it is cold this morning. i have plans to stack up the porch with wood today... it is time.
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